Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Database of Architectural Records:

An inventory of records at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Various Architects
Title Database of Architectural Records
Date 1873-1995
Date 1960-1985
Identification Database of Architectural Records
Extent The architectural database has more than 8,800 records of projects describing an estimated 125,000 sheets from over 250 architects and engineers with continual additions.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Historical Note

Database records describe architectural jobs executed by architects primarily in the Houston and surrounding areas. The date range of the architectural jobs is from 1873 to 1995 and the types of structures vary from buildings of one story to skyscrapers, modest homes to opulent mansions, the Astrodome, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Houston grew during this period from brick-paved streets to multi-level freeways, from an economy based on lumber, railroads and cotton to petroleum and the products and services necessary for its production, medical services and aerospace. Houston changed from a growing Southern city to an international city with worldwide impact.

Biographical Note

The database records the work of architects and engineers who vary from immigrants who never completed high school to highly trained college graduates. A few have immediate name recognition while knowledge of many has been obscured by the passage of time. Several have been recognized for their work while most labored in the shadows. Each contributed to Houston and this database is an effort to record their work.

Scope and Contents

Each record in the database describes the contents of one roll or folder of drawings that pertain to one specific architectural job. Information in a record generally includes the collection number, the architect’s name, a job number assigned by the architect, project name, the key number assigned by the software and, if the drawings have been inventoried, descriptions and quantity of the drawing contents, and perhaps the date and address of the structure.

The records are primarily of working drawings or blueprints of structures in the Houston and surrounding area. Some architects worked outside of the Houston area before or during their Houston career and those drawings are included also. As a result, there are records of buildings in New York, California, Florida and elsewhere.

The information in a record relates to a particular project and usually has a job number assigned by the architect. The job number could be consecutive while chronological records reflect the year of the commission, and some job numbers describe the project. The job number assigned by the architect groups the drawings for a project. Usually a project has just one job number but infrequently several numbers could be assigned to different portions of the same project. Some structures were so extensive, or the work was distributed among several different organizations, that several groups of drawings with the same job number were necessary to completely describe the necessary construction work. Projects are generally independent of each other with exceptions such as major business centers or tunnels, which connect several buildings.

The structures recorded in the database cover the spectrum of human design. Homes range from modest residences in subdivisions to mansions in affluent areas, one story auto garages to skyscrapers, civic buildings such as convention halls, zoo buildings, parks, airports, city hall, hospitals, sports stadiums, commercial structures from auto showrooms to department stores, elementary schools to university halls, clinics to hospitals, motels, hotels, parking garages, tunnels, fountains, restoration of historic structures, and libraries. The records describe the drawings needed to construct what has been designed including maps, sketches, renderings, plot plans, surveys, foundation plans, structural framing, floor plans, elevations, sections, details, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, utilities, roof plans and landscaping.

The life works of an architect comprise a collection. This could range from one project to several hundred.



Because this is a digital database, the database software will locate whatever the researcher requests, regardless of the sequence of the records.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Database of Architectural Records must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Subjects (Organizations)
Hare & Hare
Lloyd, Jones & Fillpot
Lloyd & Morgan
Lloyd, Morgan & Jones
Lloyd, Morgan & Wilson
MacKie and Kamrath
Northrop & Northrop
Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson

Subjects (Persons)

Barnstone, Howard
Baty, J. Russ
Cooper, Dale
Eichelberger, Dean
Finn, Alfred C. (Alfred Charles), 1883-1964
Greacen II, Thomas E.
Jones, Betty Jo
Kamrath, Karl, 1911-1988
MacKie, Fred, 1905-1984
Moore, Barry
Moore, Harvin C., 1905-
Neuhaus II, Hugo
Staub, John F., 1892-1981
Sullivan, Charles F.
Sullivan, Maurice J.
Wilson, Talbott



Related Material

MSS 0019 Alfred C. Finn

MSS 0054 Maurice J. Sullivan

MSS 0163 Harvin C. Moore

MSS 0178 Howard Barnstone

MSS 0318 Anne King Sullivan (Mrs. Maurice Sullivan)

MSS 0338 Southern Architectural Review Collection

MSS 0351 Betty Jo Jones Papers

MSS 1136 Gothic Architecture in Houston Exhibit Photographs

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Database of Architectural Records. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

The database records are based upon information found on architectural drawings. The drawings were acquired by donation, either by the individual creator, succeeding family members, heirs or organizations involved with the architect. Architectural firms ending their business lives have also donated drawing collections.

Processing Information

Processed by: Several archivists, staff members and others have entered information into the database over a multi-year period.

Detailed Description


Search the Architectural Database by clicking this link.